Can women perform just as well as men in sports or the military? Do male-to-female (MTF) trans people have a competitive edge in girls’ and women’s sports? To the woke left, the answers are yes and no, respectively – and you’re sexist and transphobic if you argue otherwise.
Still, the Pentagon had to admit that about 44% of all female soldiers are failing the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), compared to only 7% of men – and that’s after the test was modified to make it easier. The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, led by anti-Trump woke activist Megan Rapinoe, won the women’s World Cup in 2019 – but got trounced in a scrimmage in 2017 against the FC Dallas under-15 boys squad. In that same year alone, Olympic, World, and U.S. champion Tori Bowie’s lifetime record for the 100-meter sprint was beaten 15,000 times by men and boys. And when MTF trans “girls” and “women” compete in girls’ and women’s sports, they tend to dominate.
So then, is reality both sexist and transphobic?
Some Things Never Change
Men and women are physically different – it’s as simple as that. Even if a man decides to transition to a woman, that won’t change the fact that the skeleton and, to some degree, the muscle composition – not the size, but the actual type of muscle fibers present – will forever be that of a man. Women tend to build between 27% and 35% more slow-twitch muscle fibers than men, while men tend to have more fast-twitch muscle fiber. Also, in comparing the skull of a man and woman, the man’s mandible, frontal bone, and orbital bones are all larger than that of the female.
Additionally, a woman’s ilium (the hipbone) is more flared, the pelvis is tipped forward, the pelvic opening is larger and rounder, the individual bones of the legs are shorter, and the angle of the femur, running from the knee to the hip, is wider. Even if a trans woman’s bone density is significantly less than that of a man – and not all doctors agree that changes significantly after transitioning – the actual shape of the skeleton and the person’s center of gravity will never change. Also worth noting: Saying that a trans woman’s bone density is lower than that of a man and saying that a trans woman’s bone density is the same as that of any other woman are two entirely different statements.
Does that matter? Consider the case of Fallon Fox, the female MMA fighter who transitioned from male at the age of 31. Fallon had a grand total of six professional fights. In one of those fights, Fallon broke all seven orbital bones in an opponent’s face. In another, Fallon broke the other fighter’s skull and ended her career. Since the ovaries also produce some small amount of testosterone, both opponents were likely producing more testosterone than Fox – but that doesn’t change the fact that their skulls were simply easier to crush than Fox’s or the fact that Fox’s muscle mass contained more fast-twitch fiber than his opponents – that’s the type of muscle that produces what a lot of athletes call “explosiveness.”
That Testosterone Advantage
Testosterone is the hormone that drives muscle growth, amongst other things. It’s produced in males by the testes and – to a much lesser degree – in women by ovaries. The adrenal glands produce some small amount as well, but for men, about 95% comes from the testes. What are the effects of testosterone on the human body? More testosterone means larger, denser bones and more muscle mass. There are other effects, but relevant to sports and military performance, those two factors are easily the most important.
The more testosterone a person pumps out, the bigger, stronger, and faster that person can become – and the faster those goals can be reached. Blood testosterone levels are measured in nanograms of testosterone per deciliter of blood. So, if a six-month-old boy or girl has seven nanograms for each deciliter of blood, that’s recorded as 7ng/dL. From less than seven to about 20 is the average range for both males and females from ages six months to nine years. It’s around age ten that things start to change.
Average female testosterone production by age, in ng/dL:
- 10-11: Less than seven to 44.
- 12-16: Less than seven to 75.
- 17-18: From 20 to 75.
- 19 and older: Eight to 60.
Now here’s how much the average male produces. Note that the low end is “less than seven” for a while. That accounts for the fact that not everyone hits puberty at the same time.
- 10-11: Less than seven to 130.
- 12-13: Less than seven to 800.
- 14: Less than seven to 1,200.
- 15-16: 100 to 1,200.
- 17-18: 300 to 1,200.
- 19-39: 240 to 950.
- 40-49: 252 to 916.
- 50-59: 215 to 878.
Low testosterone levels – or “low T” – is considered anything less than 300 ng/dL for men. For women, it’s anything less than 24 ng/dL under the age of 50 and anything less than 20 ng/dL from age 50 up.
Performance Enhancement Drugs
When professional athletes are caught using steroids, they’re prohibited from playing professionally – and many argue that ban should be for life. Why? Muscle cells contain a number of myonuclei, each of which is responsible for its own section of the muscle cell. The more myonuclei in a muscle cell, the larger and stronger it can grow. With the right strength training program, muscle cells can stimulate satellite cells nearby to donate myonuclei – which then undergo mitosis to produce even more when they’re needed. One of the primary factors that determine how many myonuclei one has is the level of testosterone throughout growth, development, and maturation. Males produce far more of these than females for that reason alone. Another factor is training. When a man or woman grows a muscle through strength training, he or she gains more myonuclei. Steroids also drive this process – that’s why bodybuilders who use steroids end up with such massive muscles.
When training ends, steroids are abandoned, or testosterone production plummets, muscles will shrink – but they won’t disappear. The myonuclei don’t actually go anywhere; they just lie dormant. That’s why people who have worked out before can gain muscle faster than folks who haven’t. That “muscle memory” is simply reactivated myonuclei.
Testosterone is an anabolic steroid. When athletes cheat by injecting steroids, they’re taking in synthetic testosterone. The average steroid-using male bodybuilder has between 2,000 and 4,000 ng/dL of testosterone (natural and synthetic combined) flowing through his veins. That’s between 2.1 and 4.2 as much testosterone than what a natural athlete between 19 and 40 years old can expect, and just look at the difference.
Now consider the fact that the same natural athlete produces around 16 times more testosterone than a woman of the same age could hope for without taking steroids. Is it any wonder, then, that women have a harder time with combat readiness, the most elite female athletes can’t compete with teenage boys, or that natural girls and women are losing handily to trans athletes?
Read more from James Fite.